This week we celebrate the International Day of Peace. It was established in 1982: it turns 30 this year! Here are 5 reasons why we must ensure that peace is established and preserved. Not just at home, but everywhere.
1. Conflict kills. It is as simple as that. Civilian casualties of the war in Iraq are estimated at 100,000 – 150,000 people. Deaths related to the ongoing unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo are said to be as high as 5 million people. And those are just two conflicts.
2. We can’t ignore conflict. Just think of Syria, where media coverage is still possible under the most difficult of circumstances. Activists will continue to send out their message until something changes.
3. Conflicts are never isolated. In this interdependent world, we are directly affected by how our neighbours are doing. Refugees flee into other countries and production of commodities is disrupted. Instability in one country can affect a region. When your neighbour has a problem, it’s your problem as well.
4. War is costly. US military spending in 2012 is over 1 trillion dollars. In the coming decade, nuclear powers will spend hundreds of billions modernising and upgrading their nuclear weapons.
5. Conflict threatens everything we believe in. Some conflicts are started to make a change for the better – the Arab Spring is an example. But conflicts do form a direct threat to people’s safety, the rule of law, prosperity, education, health care… The list is endless.
On 21 September we celebrate the International Day of Peace. Enjoy!